Sprinting out of Time


  On a nice Sunday, you can run into all sorts of people wandering and biking around these abandoned sheds. And yet this former barracks complex in the East German countryside is in good shape, considering that the military moved out around the time the wall came down. The bright paint is impressive, as is

Speaking Mutely


  “The stones here speak to me, and I know their mute language. Also, they seem deeply to feel what I think. So a broken column of the old Roman times, an old tower of Lombardy, a weather-beaten Gothic piece of a pillar understands me well. But I am a ruin myself, wandering among ruins.”

The House of Louise


  It’s rare to find a time capsule that’s quite this preserved. An old mansion in Luxembourg has become a museum of family life in pre-WW II Europe. The shelves in the attic were littered with school books, journals, letters, funeral notices and bills. Notebooks from a girl named Louise showed her progress in calligraphy

Toledo Prison Farm


  Utterly isolated, apparently untouched for years – this place has the eerie kind of remoteness where every outside sound is startling and the thought of human habitation borders on the absurd. The prison is small and old, a mere aging stain in a perfect countryside, a decaying heap of bricks surrounded by forests and

Disfigured


  Found inside a closet in an old psychiatric ward in Italy. Burnt, painted, scribbled on, these cards have turned into a very personal visual poem over time.        

A Stage Entombed


  The recent demolition of the Fairmont Theater was sad news. Discovering the Fairmont was one of my favorite theater experiences ever. It had all the elements that make up a perfect ruin exploration: adventure, beauty and mystery. It was fun and scary, left a nice coating of moldy air like flocked wallpaper on the

Keeping Records


    Someone took the warning “Do Not Remove From Hospital” on the patient files a bit too seriously when this place was shuttered. Of course it seems to be a rarity whenever the staff of a closing hospital actually disposes of medical records in a way that keeps them confidential. Usually the echo of

The Orphanage


  The German Catholic Orphanage in Buffalo, New York, was built in 1927 and served as a temporary home for thousands of kids over the decades. It’s still strikingly pretty, although its chapel (added in 1938) is quickly declining into a vandalized dump site. Its days are numbered anyway; construction and demolition are about to

Doorway in the Afternoon


  “… As I went forward, striding very strong, and making a good speed, I did hear presently a little noise upward in the night, and someways unto my left, that had seeming as that it were a strange low sound that did come down to me out of an hidden doorway above; for, indeed,

Concealed Weapon


      At first it barely caught the eye. A small pencil drawing on a wall that was otherwise completely untouched. On my last excursions I’ve focused even more on the rare patient drawings that still cling to deteriorating asylum walls. This one at first seemed fake, something added by a recent visitor. But

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... this travelogue

Explorations and ruminations about time capsules near and far, with an eye towards the structures, textures and playgrounds of decay. A companion blog for darkpassage.com.

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